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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, April 16, 2010

Sacred Hearts Academy to link astronaut in space to Houston students

Advertiser Staff

The NASA Amateur Radio Ground Station at Sacred Hearts Academy is expected to link astronaut Tracy Caldwell-Dyson to students at Jessup Elementary School in Houston, 8:43 a.m.-8:53 a.m. on Monday. The contact will happen as the International Space Station flies 200 miles above Hawai'i at a rate of 16,800 miles per hour. The Houston students will have the opportunity to ask questions and academy students will listen in on the exchange.

Students at the academy volunteer their time to help prepare the station for each contact. The academy is notified when the International Space Station is over the islands and has the opportunity to telebridge schools around the world to the space station. Schools earn the opportunity to speak directly to the International Space Station on a rotating basis.

Since its inception in 1994, the radio station has participated in more than 65 contacts, helping to connect people worldwide from Kuwait to India with astronauts in space. The academy's radio station is one of only eleven around the world.

Amateur Radio International Space Station is a consortium of volunteers that develops and operates the amateur radio equipment on board the International Space Station. Members include NASA, the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency, the AMSAT Amateur Radio Satellite Corporations, and the American Radio Relay League.